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Censors swoop on Egyptian political book
25.07.08 | Philip Jones
Egyptian government censors have banned a new Palgrave Macmillan book about corruption and allegations of torture in the country.
The publisher was informed last week that Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution by British investigative journalist John R Bradley can no longer be stocked by Egyptian booksellers.
Marketing director Vicky Capstick said: "The book started picking up attention and a lot of reviews in America, so we reminded our sales force to ring round customers to make sure they had it in stock. Charles Jenkins, who covers the Middle East, rang our customers in Egypt and discovered the censor had banned it."
The book was published in the UK last month and the hardback sells for £14.99. She said that Inside Egypt, described as "highly informed, temperate and understanding" by the New York Times, contained contentious material. "It goes into lots of detail about corruption in Egypt, repeats accusations of torture, and says the government regime is very unstable."
Bradley's previous title, Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis, was sold in the US but was not published in the UK on legal advice.
"We were advised that the laws here left us open to being sued by the Saudis. However, we had a strong legal read on this book and felt confident to publish it," said Capstick.
She added that previous Palgrave titles have also been banned in different locations for falling foul of government opinion: "We've encountered this before because we try to publish across the spectrum of research."